Yesterday I got out of bed at six in the morning. I left the house around six thirty, and didn't get home until a little after eleven at night. I'm a little tired. The stewardess on the return flight was making sure to keep us all happy by keeping a cupful of beer or booze in front of us for the whole flight. I was more than willing to oblige her.
After all, they say that flying causes dehydration.
Come to think of it, my morning flight was also rather fluid, with the stewardess refilling my water twice and bringing me an extra apple juice.
I wasn't doing so well in the morning. I'd asked the stewardess for a water with ice so that I could put the ice into my water bottle, but she kept refilling my cup with warm water so as to melt my ice. Darnit.
Then, what little ice remained got spilled by some clumsy oaf with his knees up against the back of the seat knocking the tray table.
Yeah, I spilled the ice and about a centimeter of water all over my pants and backpack. And then I went back to reading Koji Suzuki's Spiral. This book (in translated form, as my efforts to learn Japanese have yet to advance past the book-buying stage) is the sequel to the novel Ring which was made into Ringu and remade as The Ring (about which I have written before). Spiral is the sequel to the book, not either movie, so it plays out a lot differently than it would've having followed the movie, unlike say a Lost worldesque sequel-to-the-movie-not-the-book book. For example, the reporter remains a guy and the whole smallpox thing remains.
The book picks up about a week or so after Ring ended, though this time around we follow Ando the medical examiner, not Asakawa the reporter. That shift alone seems enough to change the book from a somewhat tense thriller to more of a Michael Crichton medical/science detective yarn complete with diagrams and high-level studies of genetics and cryptography. Those aforementioned intellectual bits aren't that uninteresting and fit well into the story, but they lend a (perhaps intended) clinical and cold air to the proceedings.
It also gets a little ridiculous in the latter half to third. I realize I'm talking about a book that follows one about a videotape capable of killing people, but Spiral pushes things a little far (though I'm not going to spoil it for the, what, one other person who wants to read it). That said, as soon as it hits the library, Loop will be in my reserve list, if for no other reason for me to see if Suzuki manages to get the world back to some semblance of sense before bowing out of the trilogy.
The book took me from a couple minutes before the flight (in waiting rooms and gate) to a couple minutes afterward to polish off the epilogue, so about two hours solid to read. Unfortunately this left me with only my backup book, Screenwriting from the heart (by James Ryan, highly-acclaimed for writing movies and plays of which I've never heard) for the return trip and that is a much smaller, yet more dense, book to slog through. Not good, not good.
In retrospect, I probably would've done better to grab a grey-market copy of The Da Vinci code or some such easily-acquired tripe from a street vendor. At least then when I fell asleep in the Teterboro waiting room I would have had a "normal" book clutched in my hands.
As it was, when I did in fact nod off in New Jersey it was with James Ryan's attack on films that were not created with the characters first, or something like that. He sounded like an angry guy embittered by countless movies created with a plot or contrivance first and then with characters added to allow for actors and actresses onscreen. I agree with him a little bit, but I also acknowledge that there are some classic plot-driven movies out there, and also that movies light on character can still be full of enjoyment.
'Twas an interesting book to be reading whilst swilling beers at high altitudes, though I don't think I gained much insight into my own (eventual) screenwriting. Namely since every plot I've pursued started first with a plot or a contrivance and only then got characters yoked to it. Oops.